Last updated: July 2021
- JetBrains Rider
- Visual Studio 2019
- Output Enhancer – Coloring for your Build and Debug-Output
- GitHub Extension for Visual Studio
- Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects
- ResXManager – Manage your ResX resources with ease. I love it!
- Razor Generator
- PostSharp – Add logging without modifying code and much more. Great for debugging and see what’s going on in Legacy Projekcts ™
- Markdown Editor – Edit markdown files with preview.
- Object Exporter – Serialize objects in memory captured with the Debugger. I use it to generate test-data for integration tests (legacy applications). Needs some tweaks to install on Visual Studio 2019. See also the authors homepage.
- AsyncFixer – Helps you detecting and fixing bad usage of async/await in your code.
- Tweaks – A collection of minor fixes and tweaks for Visual Studio to reduce the paper cuts and make you a happier developer
- EF Core Power Tools – Adds a useful DbContext features
- LINQPad – Amazing power-tool. Instantly test .NET code snippets, query your database, create and analyse LINQ/Entity framework queries. Most used by me to create, analyse and run LINQ to entities queries. It will show the generated SQL and query you database for you. Great learning utility also. It has a ton of code examples from the book C# 3/4/5/6/7 in a Nutshell.
- ReSharper – Helps you writing better code. Tons of hints for improvements. Great test-runner. Performance tip: Exclude the
..\AppData\Local\Jetbrainsfolder from the antivirus realtime-protection.
- Chrome DevTools – Debug and analyse your frontend stuff. Some Tips and Tricks.
- Charles Web debugging proxy – See all HTTP/HTTPS traffic of your app. Especially useful if you debug something that does not run in a browser (.NET app, …).
- WinSCP – Free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows.
- Putty – Free SSH client
- BrowserSelector – Windows tool to open different browsers based on the URL. Great if you are using different browsers for different things. I love it!
Diagrams, UX tools
- PlantUML – Open-source diagram software. Define as text and compile to images.
- yEd graph editor – Powerful diagrams, cross-platform
- tldraw – Simple drawing tool
- Miro – Collaboration, charting, Agile, all in one place
- draw.io – Online and Desktop diagramming tool. Intuitive and highly productive
- Enterprise Architect – Professional UML diagrams. Complete application lifecycle modeling.
- Zadig – USB driver installation made easy
REST (Web API)
- Postman – Everything you need to test REST APIs.
- httpstat.us – Generate different HTTP status code. Simulate delays
- Mockoon – Multi-Platform API Mock software. Great UI, simple to use and tons of features (dynamic responses, CORS, delays, …)
Editors, file comparison
- VS Code – powerful, open-source multi-platform editor. Don’t use it too much, since I do most of my work in Visual Studio. But I like to use it for editing certain file types (XML).
- Notepad++ – My workhorse for analysing log-files, search and anything not done in VS Code or Visual Studio.
- HxD Hex Editor – Nice hex editor. Can calculate checksums like CRC-16.
- Beyond compare – Compare files, folders, merge, synchronize. An evergreen in my tool belt for comparing stuff.
AutoHotKey – Very complex and powerfull tool to automate your windows applications
- Azure Data Studio – Modern alternative to SSMS. Will be installed alongside SSMS on current versions.
- SQL Server Management Studio – Create, test, analyse, run queries, edit data, backup and restore databases and much more. In the old times it was a part of SQL Server and now an independent project. Please check Overview of SQL Server Tools and Utilities for related applications you might want to use.
- LINQPad (see entry in the .NET section)
- WinDirStat – Visualize the occupied space on your disk. I use that for deleting crap when the disk is getting full.
- MiniTool Partition Wizard – Manage partitions, move OS from harddrive to SSD and much more. Many features already available in the free version.
- CPU-Z – Lightweight and fast tool to check you hardware-configuration and run some basic CPU benchmarks.
- Paint.NET – Free and powerful image editor. When Photoshop is too much (and too expensive).
- ActivePresenter – Records your screen and microphone. Used it for recording tutorials (screencast for YouTube). It also makes a great tool for helping you test your GUI, as you can record what you are doing and what is happening. When something breaks, you can replay and go back in time. Version 7 did not work for me, better try Version 6 of their program while it’s still available.
Health and productivity
- OneNote – All my notes, bookmarks, screenshots and complete knowledge bases go into OneNote. Make screenshots, format your entries with simple keyboard-shortcuts without touching the mouse, collaborate on content with notebooks stored on MS SharePoint or OneDrive.
- EyeLeo – Prevents eye strain. Gentle reminders now and then to get your eyes off the screen.
- Tomighty Pomodoro timer – Get more done with more breaks. The Pomodoro technique works out great for development. Moving my body every half-hour amps up my creativity and helps me getting unstuck. I prefer to move my body, jog for a couple of minutes. Many times it’s off the screen when the aha-moments hit me.
For a much more extensive list of tools check out the resource from Scott Hanselman. Last time I checked it has been updated in 2014, but still of great value for discovering stuff:
Another list by Steve Smith (aka Ardalis), who I admire for his software design and coding skills: